Cuba Nostalgia introduces coffee-fueled 5K

It starts with a cafecito and ends with a mojito. The inaugural Guayabera 5K run/walk will begin 7 a.m. Saturday, May 15, as part of the 17th annual Cuba Nostalgia in Miami. The run/walk is designed to evoke pleasant memories of Cubans' arrival to the United States.

"We want to give people a few surprises," Cuba Nostalgia organizer Carlos Garcia says, declining to spill any of the race's features. "And it's not really a physical challenge. It's really just fun things that remind people of what Cuba is about."

The 5K won't be timed, and no trophies will go to the winners, though everyone will receive a cafecito before the race and a mojito after. Pepe Billete, an entertainer and writer known for his wit, will narrate the event.

This is the 17th year for Cuba Nostalgia, an apolitical event taking place May 15-17 and created to celebrate Cuban heritage. Garcia says it has been retooled, and now includes an artist village and more food options.

The village is nicknamed Plaza de los Artistas, Garcia says, and will occupy an entire building. Photographs hanging like banners from windows will be placed to give visitors the feeling of walking through the streets of Havana.

New food options include Pinecrest Bakery, which will offer Elena Ruz turkey sandwiches, medianoches and other Cuban favorites. Pepe Luzarraga Catering will offer "completes," including ropa vieja and masas de puerco with rice and beans.

Cuban-born actor and director Andy Garcia will premiere a 26-minute documentary produced by the University of Miami and narrated in English titled "Cuba: From Columbus to Castro." It will be shown hourly at the theater.

Cuba Nostalgia, as in past years, will offer programs on Cuban culture and heritage, with re-creations of the Malecon in Havana and the Santiaguera street dance troupe. Old records and books, Cuban films from the 1950s, Cuban stamps, and T-shirts also will be on sale.

Cuba Nostalgia will take place 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday at 10901 Coral Way, in Miami. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $6 for children younger than 12. Call 305-929-9773 or go to CubaNostalgia.org.

Nsortal@SouthFlorida.com

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